Hello, everyone, you may remember reading a post a bit over a year ago about me losing my Manx cat, Arwen (AKA Baby Arwen, Beans, Lady Bear). Just recently, something very unexpected happened. I ended up losing my other cat, as well, to a rare disease that had come up quite suddenly. Alex (AKA Mr. Man, Wicky, Biscuit King, the last of which will make more sense later) began to have trouble breathing and was diagnosed with chylothorax, a rare condition where liquid from some kind of duct leaks into his chest cavity. While this liquid was drained, it came back much too quickly, and I had no choice but to put him down, as we were fighting a losing battle.
This all happened on December 18, 2013, and just days prior, I had no idea such a thing was going to happen. I always commented on how robust and sturdily built he was, as he was always a very healthy cat, with nothing but a bit of asthma. He was 14 years old or so, and I was certain I’d have a good 6 years left, as 20 years is rumored to be the lifespan of cats (even though, thus far, my experiences have proven this to be a myth). Kind of fortunately, I’m not having so hard a time with it this time around, as what happened to Arwen feels much too recent, making it feel like I’m currently still in the mood I was when I lost her, which is an easier transition. A terrible thing has a way of feeling less terrible when you feel like you’ve gotten used to it, in a way.
It was certainly hard at first, of course, though I do have some relatively good memories of those last days, as I had the opportunity to take care of Alex, as he was not feeling well after the liquid was drained from his chest. I wish he had made more of a recovery his last few days, but he still purred a lot during that time, as I think he appreciated when I brought him food and water throughout the day, and I did get to hold him quite a bit on my lap at the end. And some unexpected comfort after it happened came in the form of a cat that seems to live at the emergency clinic. I heard meowing, and when I finally looked over, I found this orange cat staring at me, which then proceeded to come over and rub against my legs a bunch before finally leaving. It’s nice when even an animal actually cares.
And now that my house is cat-free, I rather miss being harassed for food (he was obsessed with it, which explained his weight) and watching him chase shadows before bed and hearing his old, creaky joints as he walked into the living room. I even miss the fact that I no longer need to put certain things away to prevent them from being stepped on. I even miss cleaning up after him. Yes, I even miss the cleaning of the vomit and the scooping of the litter, even if the vomiting could get a bit ridiculous at times. I’d be fine with doing it again, if only someone could resurrect him and bring him back (as long as he returns normal and not undead-like). But, we all go through these bargaining phases where we say, I’ll gladly scoop doo again if my cat returns or I’ll starting giving to charity if my cat returns. Unfortunately, such tactics have been shown to be largely ineffective, and so I shall stop wasting my time talking about the bad things and spend the rest of this post discussing the good times.
Ah, where to begin? Alex was a really nice cat. Really. He was so darn easy to please, and it was likely either because he simply had low standards or he loved me a bunch. Hopefully the latter. You didn’t have to do anything, and he’d start purring and “making biscuits”, as I call it (when cats knead their paws, it looks like they’re kneading dough). You could pet him. Yes, that would make him purr, of course. But sometimes, all it took was talking to him. Or looking at him. I could simply look over, and he’d start his purring and his biscuit preparations. He “made biscuits” so often, in fact, I said he surely would be a pastry chef if he had thumbs.
He was also not the brightest cat, bless his soul, (he rarely was aware of the fact that a partway open door could be pushed open, causing him to just sit there and wait outside a door he could, in actuality, easily move) and rather whiny, too, which was likely because he was such a spoiled thing. I got him free as a kitten from someone’s house a long time ago in a town far, far away, at only one-month-old, and he was babied ever since then. His easy life likely made him weak-willed, in stark contrast to Arwen, who was filled with attitude, a bit too much attitude on occasions. (Okay, I’ll admit it, she was a punk sometimes.) Arwen spent the fist bit of her life in foster care, and so she was the more mature of my two feline companions, having “grown up on the streets”, as I put it. Poor Alex was also quite the coward, which wasn’t helped by the fact that Arwen liked to play rough. I think she just wanted to have fun, but he hated her for it, even requiring me to escort him past her on occasions when he refused to walk by her.
But, such traits only added to his lovable character. Maybe he would come to you just because he wanted food. Maybe he never greeted me when I got home like Arwen did. Maybe he’d run because something’s cooking in a pot on the stove, and that’s apparently very terrifying, but he was sweet. And a rather lovely cat, too, with black and white fur and green eyes. And just one leg with stripes, like he was wearing a single sock. (He misplaced the other three socks, however.) Actually, he was the most adorable kitten in existence, too. I’m not kidding you. His cuteness was ridiculous. And he was so tiny, he’d sleep under picture frames like they were tents.
He was a good cat. Not as fun as Arwen, and a bit of a spoiled baby, but that doesn’t matter really, and cats can get away with stuff like that. He wouldn’t play with toys (too much effort, I expect), but he enjoyed running after shadows. He also didn’t enjoy cat treats, though he would shove his head into cups of milk if he was allowed. And while he was lazy, he would occasionally attempt a light jog after me when I ran from him, when we wouldn’t simply walk together to another room. He had the loudest meow, but it was always nice having a conversation going back and forth, where each of us would make a sound at the other, even if you had no idea what he was saying or what you were meowing back at him. And like I said before, he was easy to please. It was so easy to make him purr. And it was fun to do it. And while I miss Arwen, I am happy he got a much more peaceful life for a while, and he seemed to really enjoy the extra attention he received, causing him to spend much more time out with me and less time hiding, as he no longer needed to avoid his arch-nemesis. And I will miss him, but as long as these memories remain, that makes it a bit better. And now he can join Arwen, where he can practice his baking and let her try the results. As long as she promises not to play too rough anymore, of course.
The Duck Says Send Me Some Biscuits from Kitty Heaven, Wicky, But Don’t Get Hair in Them This Time